The CPA Financial Planner — Facts and Opportunities 

There’s never been a greater demand for personal financial planning services: tax, retirement, estate, charitable and life-transition planning and more. “Personal financial planning” is the term consumers use to identify the services they seek. Services many CPAs already provide. You’re needed. You’re the most trusted. You can be the “go-to” adviser. It’s time to call yourself a CPA financial planner.

The Facts About Personal Financial Planning

Applied Research and Consulting’s independent 2015 research study revealed that “personal financial planning” is the term the general public uses to refer to tax, estate, retirement, charitable and life-transition planning, among others. That’s what you are most likely already providing. Here are a few more facts from this study to consider:

  • Seventy-eight percent of consumers with a net worth of $500,000 to $5 million+ reported that “personal financial planning” is the most appealing term for the services they’re seeking.
  • Three out of four consumers associate financial planning with CPAs.
  • The majority of CPAs already are providing financial planning:
    • 97% tax planning
    • 62% estate planning
    • 54% retirement planning
    • 48% succession planning (businesses)
    • 23% wealth management

Opportunities for CPA Financial Planners
Opportunities for financial planners

The demand for financial planning services never has been higher. And the opportunities never have been greater. Here’s proof:

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 27% growth in the need for personal financial advisers over the next six years and 30% over the next 10.
  • An IBIS World 2015 study reported that personal financial planning is projected to grow two times faster than traditional accounting services.
  • Ten thousand baby boomers a day are estimated to turn 65 over the next 10 years, according to a recent Pew Research Center study. Not only will an incredible amount of wealth change hands, but boomers will seek advice as they deal with the increased complexities associated with retirement.

CPA Financial Planner Marketing Toolkit
 CPA Financial Planner Marketing Toolkit

Here are some valuable tools to help you communicate with your clients and prospects about the value of working with a CPA financial planner or a CPA Personal Financial Specialist and the services you provide, including:

CPA Financial Planner Resources
 CPA Financial Planner Resources

The AICPA offers a wealth of valuable tools and resources for CPA financial planners, including learning, consumer-facing content, practice guides, authoritative guidance, newsletters, checklists, PFP Section membership, CPA/PFS specialty credential and much more. All of these resources are designed to help you build deeper, longer-lasting relationships with clients through all life-stages and to expand your current PFP practice. Check out the tools and resources today.

If you are providing consultative advice without managing assets, it is important to understand when you are providing covered investment advice that requires you to register as an investment adviser. Read The CPA's Guide to Investment Advisory Business Models to learn more.

CPA Financial Planners Tell Their Stories

Hear from your peers about their thoughts and experiences in this practice area, the rewards of being a CPA financial planner, as well as their views on the future of financial planning.


© 2017 Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. All rights reserved.